A City Club Committee Says Portland Should Explore Rent Control—And A Lot of Other Strategies

Comments

1
" In particular, the committee seems intrigued by "rent stabilization" a sometimes-controversial strategy (developers hate it, and some economists say it only makes matters work) that limits how high landlords can jack up rents."

1 - I think you meant to say "it only makes matters worse."

2 - This is not just "some" economists who have concluded that rent control makes matters worse - this is pretty much 90% or more of economists who have studied the issue, even notoriously liberal economists like Paul Krugman. You can read an article he wrote about this specific issue here: http://www.nytimes.com/2000/06/07/opinio…

Rent control always sounds nice in theory, especially for current tenants who already "got theirs," but it has disastrous long-term consequences for the overall housing market in the long term, especially for future low-income renters. I'm sure many Portlanders, who are sadly and notoriously provincial about transplants, would see this as a feature rather than a bug, but it will bite you in the ass if you are currently in a 1-bedroom and one day decide you want to raise a family and need a little more space down the road.

New affordable housing revenue is a fantastic idea, as is banking foreclosed homes and converting them to city-run affordable housing. Developer incentives have historically not worked out very well in practice, but I don't think they do any particular harm either.

But rent control simply doesn't work as a long-term solution for affordable housing, and this has been demonstrated time and time again in many other cities in the U.S. There is no reason to think the ultimate outcome for Portland would be any different.